Air Canada announced that its president and chief executive officer, Calin Rovinescu, will retire on February 15 next year, after leading the company for almost 12 years.
He will be succeeded by Air Canada Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Rousseau.
"While Covid-19 has decimated the global airline industry, fortunately, we entered the pandemic much healthier than almost any other airline in the world as a result of our strong balance sheet, track record and engaged workforce. Our Covid-19 Mitigation and Recovery Plan is now nearly complete and the remaining steps will be put in place prior to year-end," Rovinescu said.
He added that Air Canada has so far raised around $6 billion of incremental liquidity and is set to implement a series of significant fleet, capacity, network and workforce reductions that are required for the next several years before we rebuild from that smaller footprint and maintained that the airline will be "extremely well-positioned for the recovery when borders reopen, travel restrictions are lifted and the broader economy is functioning again."
Sustainable global aviation leader
The Board of Directors of Air Canada noted the outgoing airline chief's record - particularly in successfully transforming Air Canada into a sustainable, global aviation industry leader and his "financial and commercial acumen," which they said serve the company well in the years ahead.
Rovinescu has served as president and CEO of Air Canada since April 1, 2009. He was Chair of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board from 2012-2016 and served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association in 2014-2015.
Meanwhile, Air Canada said in a statement that Rousseau played an instrumental role in Air Canada's transformation by leading the charge on strengthening the balance sheet of the carrier, building significant shareholder value and the complete turnaround and stabilization of Air Canada's pension plans.
Prior to joining Air Canada, Rousseau was President of Hudson's Bay Company and was also earlier named Canada's CFO of the year in 2017.